The three grown men were laughing while sitting outside on the steps of the beach house. They recalled that evening of Jared catching Vince and Diante’.
Diante’ combed his dreads, shaking them out while staring into Jared’s face. He leaned forward, stealing a smooch from his husband. “I thought you’d kill us that day.”
“Yeah well, I would have but…I knew I couldn’t. Who else would I have to move in with me if I did that?” Jared chuckled, reaching back to take Diante’s hand.
Vince sat in between them, breaking the handshake, taking both their palms, kissing the back of them. “I’m so happy you understood, man. I was afraid of losing your friendship. Diante’ and I had been close for years so I was sure that he wouldn’t go anywhere but…” Vince bit his lip. “You became just as important.”
Jared grinned, “I’m glad man. I don’t think I ever would’ve got through the rest of high school without you dudes. You know, being a fifth year senior wasn’t that cool.”
Diante’ stared at Jared’s face. He pulled Jared’s chin. “Hey! You were the hottest fifth year senior in school, man. Every girl wanted to get in your pants.”
Jared laughed, “Yeah, but I wasn’t interested in babies. I was more into women at that time.”
Diante’s eyes caught Vince’s. “Yes we remember,” they said in unison.
The younger Diante’ nodded in Jared’s direction. He really appreciated that Jared did accept the relationship between he and Vince. Besides, after the two of them had their secret “friendship,” most things got better in Diante’s life, except for things at home, until…
* * * * *
After the talk with Jared and Vince, Diante’ made up his mind he would begin to stand up against his dad. The union with Vince made Diante’ gain confidence too especially since Vince started teaching Diante’ how to fight. Diante’ started to feel like there might be hope in his life after all. So many times he’d thought about ending it all, but now, he felt differently.
Once he got through the gang members hanging on the corner, he arrived home, hearing screams and yells from his mother. “Mi Madre…” he mouthed before running in, watching his father, pin her in the corner.
His eyes widened while clenching his fists after dropping his book bag! “Stop,” he yelled. “Get off of her!” He saw red before running right to his dad, pushing him into a nearby wall. He was amazed by his sudden burst of strength.
“Faggot, get the fuck off me. I’m your father!” His dad shoved him to the floor. Diante’ heard his mother praying in Spanish before his dad’s feet came into view. Within seconds, Juan kicked him hard in the gut. Diante’ began choking as his dad stomped his foot right on his chest. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
The pain flowed through his body as the bigger man continued his assault; his mom screaming and crying in the background. “No…Juan please, mi hijo!”
Juan laughed heartily, looking into Diante’s eyes that were full of tears. “No, he thought he could beat me so…” he stopped. Diante’ felt himself lose consciousness, everything was a blur.
“Please, dad…” he coughed, “Please, I got so much to…live for.” He placed his hands around the man’s ankle.
“Heh, no you don’t. Fags don’t make it in this world, hijo. No one loves a homo!”
Diante’ turned his head away before hearing extra footsteps. When he shifted again, the weight from his father’s foot was lifted. He watched the big man fall right next to him, bleeding from the head.
He coughed harder, feeling someone’s hands on his face and then, everything went black.